Kirk Cousins ​​returns to the controls of the eliminated Vikings

Cousins ​​and many other starters will play S18 even though Vikings no longer have a playoff chance

MINNEAPOLIS – Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins ​​came out of the reserve list / COVID-19 on Wednesday and will play the final game of the regular season against Chicago, according to the coach Mike Zimmer.

Cousins ​​was unable to play in the Vikings’ 37-10 loss at Green bay Sunday and that he took out Minnesota postseason, after testing positive for COVID-19 December 31st. The quarterback noted that his symptoms were “mild” as he watched his team play in Week 17.

“This is a unique moment that we are in,” reflected Cousins. “I had my play sheet in front of me as I watched the game trying to stay engaged.”

Cousins ​​is subject to daily testing according to protocols COVID-19 of the NFL and the NFLPA because he is not vaccinated. When asked about the criticism he received for having to miss a game due to testing positive, Cousins ​​said he would not have been able to play in any way because it was symptomatic.

“In my case, it wouldn’t have mattered because I had mild symptoms,” Cousins ​​replied. “They don’t want you to play with COVID. I would have tested positive anyway. In my case, it didn’t make a big difference.”

The Vikings will not play playoffs in consecutive seasons for the first time in the tenure of Zimmer. Even though the game of Chicago has no postseason implications, Zimmer confirmed that Cousins He won’t be the only starter in Week 18. Earlier this week, the Vikings coach said he would play all of Minnesota’s starters if they are available.

“It’s not just about competing and improving,” said running back Dalvin Cook. “Shoot your bullets. Having a good video, that’s what this is about. We didn’t get the result that we wanted, yeah, and that’s directly from us as an organization in general. We lost games as players, as coaches, all as one. The games that we would like to get back, we can’t get them back, so now we have to go out there and compete and be proud of ourselves. “

Zimmer also denied when asked if he planned to play more rookies against the Bears. to provide players with valuable NFL experience. That includes quarterback Kellen Mond, who had a series against the Packers in relief from Sean Mannion, who was dealing with hand cramps in the fourth quarter.

After the loss, Zimmer replied Sunday night that he was “not particularly” interested in giving Mond more play against Chicago because “I see him every day” in practice. The Vikings used a third-round pick to select Mond last April with the intention of him serving as a backup for Cousins.

Instead, Mannion was hired before the start of the season to be Cousins’ No. 2, while Mond was inactive for the first 15 weeks of the season. It wasn’t until Mannion got COVID-19 before a loss to the Rams that Mond was finally active on a game day and served as a backup for Cousins. Despite not practicing last week while on the reserve list, Mannion was chosen to start over Mond when the Vikings faced a win-win situation in Green Bay.

“Kellen has worked hard every day and has done a great job helping our room and contributing on the practice field and in the meeting room and giving great feedback week after week,” shared Cousins.

Cousins ​​has a contract with Minnesota through this 2022 season and represents a $ 45 million cap load in the final year of his contract. As speculation reaches Week 18 that Cousins, Zimmer and GM Rick Spielman could be dating after another lost season, the quarterback reiterated his desire to stay with the Vikings.

“I’m focused on the Bears on Sunday. I have a full day today, a full day the next few days to prepare. I certainly want to be a Minnesota Viking for the rest of my career.”

A win over the Bears on Sunday would give Zimmer 72 as the Vikings head coach, averaging 9.1 wins each season since he was hired by Minnesota in 2014. Zimmer is ranked 17th among active head coaches in percentage. of wins and currently averages 8.9 wins per season, including draws as a half win, according to ESPN Data.

Each of the 16 coaches above him averages at least 9 wins per season.

Cook expressed his support for Zimmer and the Vikings organization when asked if this franchise has reached its limit or can hope to win in 2022 with this same group.

“I’ve been here with these same people for the past five years,” Cook recalled. “I had different coordinators every year, but my head coach and everything, I’ve been with these people for five years, fighting and trying to win games; lost games, good times, bad times. I wouldn’t want to go to war with anyone but with this people”.

“So whatever the future holds for everyone, I can’t imagine it. I don’t know what’s going to happen. But I know that I love these people around me. They are very supportive and supportive of me. That’s the love I have. for them, and I love these coaches around me. That’s all I have to say. “